Peter John Dalglish. Image/Screenshot/Global Citizenship Awards

Canadian aid worker Peter Dalglish set to appeal child sex conviction in Nepal

He is accused of sexually assaulting two children in Nepal

A prominent Canadian aid worker convicted of sexually assaulting two children in Nepal is set to argue he was the victim of a police conspiracy and unfair trial.

In legal materials ahead of his appeal, expected to be heard Jan. 7, Peter Dalglish alleges a host of problems with the investigation and court process he says led to his wrongful conviction and nine-year prison term.

“A conspiracy was created on the backs of youths who were enticed to lie and damage the reputation of an innocent man, who has spent his life helping those in need, particularly children and youths,” Dalglish’s lawyers argue in their appeal brief. ”In doing so, they have brought the rule of law and the justice system of Nepal into disrepute.”

Originally from London, Ont., Dalglish, 62, was convicted last June and later sentenced to nine years in prison. The Order of Canada recipient has denied any wrongdoing and has assembled a new legal team to fight his conviction.

Nepalese police arrested him in the early hours of April 8, 2018, at his mountain home in the village of Kartike, east of the capital of Kathmandu. Police alleged he had raped two Nepalese boys aged 11 and 14, who were in his home.

On appeal, Dalglish says the investigation was carried out jointly by Nepalese police and the organization Sathi, which aims to expose child predators. He maintains both pressed witnesses into providing damaging information.

“The police offered bribes and incentives to potential witnesses and their families in exchange for damaging information about the defendant. They threatened those who could not be bought,” the appeal brief states. “Although the police and Sathi may have begun this investigation in good faith, when they found nothing, they resorted to tactics that have led to unreliable evidence.”

Dalglish’s lawyers maintain the two boys provided various accounts of what allegedly occurred before recanting their accusations. They say medical examinations turned up no DNA or other evidence indicating he had sexually assaulted them. They say police searches of his home were illegal and, despite court findings, turned up nothing incriminating.

For example, they say investigators seized photographs police characterized as evidence of child pornography. Dalglish’s lawyers counter that one of the pictures shows his daughter and family friends — in bathing suits — at a summer cabin in Ontario.

READ MORE: Canadian aid worker charged with child sexual abuse in Nepal

READ MORE: Canadian aid worker jailed 16 years in Nepal for sex assault of boys

Dalglish’s lawyers also argue his trial was grossly unfair. Among other things, they say he had no translator for the proceedings in Nepalese, which he doesn’t speak. They say he was made to sign documents he didn’t understand, and was not allowed to meet his lawyer privately.

None of the appeal claims has been tested in court.

At the time of his arrest, Pushkar Karki, the chief of Nepal’s Central Investigation Bureau, accused Dalglish of luring children from poor families with promises of education, jobs and trips, then sexually abusing them.

Andy MacCulloch, a 40-year friend, said Dalglish is a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

“There’s an incredible amount of evidence that this is a frame job,” MacCulloch said. “They presumed him to be guilty.”

One of Dalglish’s lawyers is B.C.-based Dennis Edney, who co-represented former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr.

Dalglish co-founded a Canadian charity called Street Kids International in the late 1980s. He has worked for several humanitarian agencies, including UN Habitat in Afghanistan and the UN in Liberia.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases at Chilliwack schools will be communicated via Fraser Health

Leaked internal memo causes confusion among parents and others worried about potential exposure

Sardis Neighbourhood Plan is ready in draft form for feedback

Survey online until Oct. 9 will take comments from the public on how Sardis will grow

Fall outdoor burning season cancelled in Chilliwack

Council decided to cancel outdoor burning because of pandemic air quality concerns

Expanded COVID-19 testing and collection centre opening at UFV

New Abbotsford service location will now conduct as many as 500 tests daily

Chilliwack school board chair running in provincial election

Dan Coulter will run against incumbent John Martin and former school trustee Diane Janzen

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Most Read